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221  Economy / Service Discussion / Where is Mt. Gox now? on: February 20, 2014, 07:50:38 AM
Mt Gox claims to have moved their offices to Cerulean Tower 15F, 26­1 Sakuragaoka­cho, 150­8512 Shibuya Tokyo. They've used that address before; it's a short-term office space rental / virtual office location. Here's office rental info.

It's possible that Karpeles is holed up in there (they have enough building security and enough building exits to avoid protesters), but I doubt their whole staff is there. So where are they?
222  Economy / Service Discussion / BitcoinCharts "Low" numbers behave strangely, at least for Mt. Gox. on: February 20, 2014, 07:26:40 AM
I'm watching the Mt. Gox BTC/USD price crash on BitcoinCharts (which is run by Mt. Gox) at http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/currency/USD.html. Sometimes, the value in the "Low" column takes a jump upward briefly, but it seems to come back down after a few trades.

Right now, MtGox $180/BTC; low of $176. It was around 230 an hour ago.
223  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: New Digital CB "band" for cryptosystems, i.e. offline bitcoin transactions on: February 20, 2014, 02:28:40 AM
As a Bitcoin network, packet forwarding ought to cost some small fee, paid in Bitcoins. The problem is that the Bitcoin system chokes on micropayments. But think about that as an idea for congestion control. Maybe you have to do some proof of work to send packets.
224  Bitcoin / Development & Technical Discussion / Re: New Digital CB "band" for cryptosystems, i.e. offline bitcoin transactions on: February 20, 2014, 02:26:13 AM
The filing isn't quite done, but I have the frequency allocation proposal finished.  It's filling number with the FCC is 0158-EX-PL-2014, if anyone is interested.  I filed it as an experimental license application, because there really wasn't a better method.  The FCC doesn't have a method for suggesting completely new ideas.
That's how the FCC does do new ideas. Digital AM radio and digital cellular telephony started under experimental licenses. You usually get two years, with a possible 5 year extension. If you propose a geographical limit on your stations, it's more likely to be approved, because applications are checked against a database of every other licensed service for conflicts. If you don't limit, you'll get a conflict with any other 27MHz station in the US.
225  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: mtgox announcement on: February 20, 2014, 12:49:15 AM
I may be an optimist, but the fact that Karpeles hasn't gone into complete hiding yet, may be a sign that they are really trying to make an effort to right the ship.
It's hard for a gaijin to hide in Japan, and it's hard to get off the islands if the Japanese authorities are looking for you.
226  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: NEWS: MtGox resuming withdrawals on: February 19, 2014, 10:01:56 PM
Roger Ver is a decent target.  Roger Ver associates with gox. Fuck gox.
Roger Ver is a convicted felon.
227  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: NEWS: MtGox resuming withdrawals on: February 19, 2014, 09:59:20 PM
Mt. Gox is not resuming withdrawals.

Mt. Gox is claiming they will issue a statement about resuming withdrawals at some future time.

There's a big difference.
228  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Why is MT. GOX selling at $300? on: February 19, 2014, 09:54:58 PM
Right. When you can't get anything out, the price is meaningless. Although there are some people trying to make a market in GoxBucks and GoxCoins.
229  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: What are the remaining reliable exchanges? on: February 19, 2014, 08:17:17 PM
In my experience all of the following exchanges are 100% reliable (in alphabetical order):

[blank]
Agreed. Keep no funds in any exchange for more than 24 hours.
230  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Trading btc for goxbtc; is there any risk of MtGox reversing internal transfers? on: February 19, 2014, 08:14:55 PM
Can Mtgox reverse internal bitcoin transactions?
That's a very good question. 

It's more like "can they get away with it if they do it?" Given the reluctance of Gox suckers customers to sue, probably yes.
231  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: MtGox withdrawal delays [Gathering] on: February 19, 2014, 04:25:03 AM
Surprisingly I received the cash withdrawal requested on Jan15 today Feb19  
About how big an amount? It's been observed for months that little withdrawals are more likely to get through than big ones.
232  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Mt. Gox being hammered in the financial press on: February 18, 2014, 07:32:11 AM
Those are the weekend stories. It's going to be even worse for Mt. Gox on Monday, when the financial papers are back at work.
Monday's coverage was bad enough, but Monday was a holiday in the US and the financial papers didn't publish. Tuesday, reporters will be back at work.

The Wall Street Journal is now asking the right question - is Mt. Gox broke? Karpeles has been stonewalling the WSJ reporters, UPI, NHK (the biggest TV network in  Japan) and the South China Morning Post. Each of those outlets reports that Mt. Gox refuses to discuss their financial stability and questions whether Mt. Gox is in financial trouble. There's talk of the Bank of Japan becoming involved.

Mt. Gox is the 4th most popular story on UPI right now. This isn't going away.

This is playing out like Enron, Lehman, and Madoff. Trouble, denial, excuses, stonewalling, more trouble. We're close to the point where law enforcement gets involved.
233  Bitcoin / Press / [2014-02-17] Mt. Gox Shows Bitcoin's Growing Pains -- Update on: February 18, 2014, 05:55:10 AM
"Mt. Gox Shows Bitcoin's Growing Pains -- Update" - Wall Street Journal
Quotes:

Investors are increasingly concerned about the status of their Mt. Gox accounts.

In the email interview, Mr. Karpelès responded to questions about the company's solvency or protection for customers' funds by saying that the matter is confidential.

Japanese officials are cautious about making any comments about bitcoins as they wait for the Bank of Japan to finish a study about the virtual currency. Still, some Japan-based lawyers say certain restrictions, especially on exchange platforms, should be considered in order to prevent criminal use of the currency, such as for money-laundering.

"I believe that regulating exchanges would be the best way to address these problems," said So Saito, a lawyer at the Tokyo law firm of Nishimura & Asahi.
234  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: MtGox withdrawal delays [Gathering] on: February 17, 2014, 09:47:50 PM
Many of you suckers people are not getting this: You are not going to be paid by Mt. Gox until you either apply serious pressure to them or they come up with some way to underpay you.

If Mt. Gox owes you money, you need to be suing in Delaware and complaining to the SEC and complaining to the Japan FSA and  talking to a collection agency in Japan and talking to the Japan External Trade Organization and the financial press.  You can apply pain to Mt. Gox until they pay up. And you should. Now. While the world financial press is watching.

I've collected amounts in six figures across borders. It was a headache, but eventually they paid 100%. It took a lawyer and threats of taking them into bankruptcy, but I didn't have to go to court.
235  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: MtGox withdrawal delays [Gathering] on: February 17, 2014, 07:51:01 PM
unfortunately, I agree as well. It is more and more clear that they don't have enough cash and/or BTC...
Agreed.  All Mt. Gox's actions are in the direction of desperately trying to stop withdrawals.

Stalling may not work this time. The financial press is watching too closely, and they interpret "stopping withdrawals" by financial firms as "bankrupt".

Understand that when a real brokerage house or bank stalls on withdrawals, they are effectively out of business within hours and closed within days. The financial press is now treating Bitcoin like a real investment, which means those standards are applied to Bitcoin exchanges.  This is good for Bitcoin, but bad for Mt. Gox.
236  Bitcoin / Legal / Re: Mt. Gox and Japan Laws on: February 17, 2014, 07:18:38 PM
The way Mt. Gox is holding customer deposits, is it allowed in Japan. Cant there be any lawsuit ? (I'm sorry I dunno if there's already one !!!)
Mt. Gox can be sued in the US, in Delaware, where they have a legal presence for FinCen purposes. They can be sued in Japan. The Japan Financial Services Agency has the authority to regulate them. Yet there are no published reports of anything happening.

I suspect that there have been legal actions, and that anyone who files suit is paid off immediately if they sign a nondisclosure agreement.
237  Economy / Service Discussion / Mt. Gox being hammered in the financial press on: February 17, 2014, 07:21:06 AM
Press reports over the weekend are coming in. The financial press is saying "Bitcoin is OK, Mt. Gox is dead".

* "Bitcoin plunges 50% on Mt. Gox to hit USD230 as troubles continue" (From "Investing,com". The NASDAQ put this article on their web site.)
* "Bitcoin’s largest exchange is dying. Here’s why that’s not a problem for Bitcoin." (Washington Post)
* "Biggest Bitcoin Exchange Restores Service" (Wall Street Journal. They mean Bitstamp, not Mt. Gox.)
* "Bitcoin Protester Confronts Mt. Gox Executive. (Wall Street Journal. The WSJ itself writes: "In an email on Thursday, Reina Matsushita, a Mt.Gox spokeswoman, said the company would issue a statement later that day, but by Friday morning no new statement had appeared on the company’s website. Phone calls to the company’s office rang unanswered on Friday.")

Those are the weekend stories. It's going to be even worse for Mt. Gox on Monday, when the financial papers are back at work. Now that Bitcoin stories are being treated as regular financial stories, Bitcoin exchanges are being held to the standards of regular financial companies. Press coverage like that is usually followed by "Company declares bankruptcy" or "CEO arrested". We're past the point where excuses will work.
238  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Get your fiat out of Gox in 1 day and make a profit while you're at it on: February 17, 2014, 06:47:11 AM
Unfortunately, the most plausible explanation seems to be that they want to prevent a whale, in this case BitcoinBuilder, from amassing too large a share of GoxBTC (or GoxUSD).  A whale might be in a better position to identify suspicious market behavior, might have more financial incentive to pursue means to put pressure on MtGox, and might be a more formidable enemy in court.
BitcoinBuilder is just matching buyers and sellers; they're not taking any risk or position in this. But they do have custody of a lot of coins on Mt. Gox.
239  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: Is it time to start organising large scale legal action against MtGox? on: February 16, 2014, 09:51:28 PM
As I wrote in July 2013:

Quote
How to apply pressure to Mt. Gox to pay up.

There are ways to do this. I don't have any money with them, but I've had to do international collections before, for amounts in high six figures, and I got paid.

Here are some options:

  • Sue in Delaware. Mt. Gox has a legal presence in the U.S., in Delaware, as a result of their FinCen filing. So Mt. Gox can be sued there. Delaware has Justice of the Peace courts with jurisdiction up to $15,000. They even have online filing, although you may have to go to Delaware for the trial. Mt. Gox will either have to send someone to trial, or lose by default. You still have to collect on the judgement, but there are ways to do that.
  • Hire a collection agency in Japan. This isn't easy across the language barrier, but it's possible. Search with Google for 債権回収サービス ("Debt collection service"). It's useful to use Google Chrome with automatic translation enabled for this. Find a service that mentions that they do commercial collections, not just consumer collections. Here's the Japan Ministry of Justice's list of registered debt collection agencies.. There are ones that are not registered, but some are just Yazuka goons. (Although that might work, this is going to be a high-profile collection, and they don't want the visibility.) There are U.S. companies which claim they can collect in Japan, but most don't actually have a presence in Japan. Unless a US company has a Tokyo office of their own, they're probably wasting your time. The normal deal is that the collection agency gets a cut of what they collect, but you don't pay anything up front.
  • Raise hell in the financial press. Start calling reporters who have written stories about Bitcoin. Call Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Not just email - call them. Use words like "default" when talking to them.
  • File a complaint with the Japan Ministry of Finance under the Payment Services Act. Whether Mt. Gox likes it or not, they fall under the Payment Services Act in Japan, which regulates non-bank money transfer services. Japan has many such services; most of the cell phone companies offer money transfer, for example. They're required to maintain 100% of customer funds in a separate account, and the Financial Services Agency can audit this. The place to start is a Japanese consulate in the US or the Japan External Trade Organization. One of the major functions of consulates, especially ones of countries with big export trade, is to tell people how to deal with cross-border commercial problems.

If Mt. Gox owes you a substantial amount of money, you can make them pay. You don't have to put up with their nonsense. They do not get to determine when and whether they pay up. It doesn't work that way in the real world.

It's easier to do this now than it was months ago, because there's been so much press coverage of Mt. Gox's problems. You have a lot less explaining to do.

For US persons owed less than $15K, the Delaware Justice of the Peace court looks like an excellent option. It's cheap, it's in the US, and Mt. Gox has to send someone from Japan or they lose by default. You don't need a lawyer, although getting some legal advice on filing would be a good idea. If you win, you have a judgment against Mt. Gox, which you still have to collect. You can sell that judgment to a collection agency for a discount, and you can publicize it. You can apply enough pain to Mt. Gox that you'll get paid.

240  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / So what happens on Monday morning? on: February 16, 2014, 09:25:27 PM
So what happens on Monday morning?  (A common phrase on Wall Street.)

Well, Bitstamp is back up, doing Bitcoin withdrawals as usual. The market has already recognized this; Coinbase and Bitstamp are back in sync, and BTC-E is trailing a bit. LocalBitcoins has a big bid/ask spread, but it's centered around the Bitstamp price, currently 610. (Note that the LocalBitcoins price on bitcoincharts.com (a Mt. Gox service) is wrong.) So the markets are back to normal, slightly lower than a week ago.

Except, of course, for Mt. Gox. Customers can't get anything out, so the price is a speculation on whether Mt. Gox will ever resume withdrawals of anything.

What's different this time is that the mess last week made headlines in the business press all over the world as a finance story. Not a tech story. Not a weird story. Bitcoin is now taken seriously by the financial press. Bitcoin is now being looked at like any other investment.

This doesn't mean Bitcoin is a success. It just means it's another financial product, judged on that basis. Risk, return, management competence, financial statements, the usual. Amateur hour is over. Expect more press scrutiny of Bitcoin as a financial product.
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